Child exploitation refers to the use of children for someone else's advantage, gratification or profit often resulting in unjust, cruel and harmful treatment of the child. These activities are to the detriment of the child's physical or mental health, education, moral or social-emotional development. It covers situations of manipulation, misuse, abuse, victimization, oppression or ill-treatment.
Children are considered to be exploited whenever a profit is made from their vulnerability and lack of power, whenever children are abused to somebody else's benefit and whenever they start working despite being too young or for long hours. Exploitation also occurs when children work in dangerous or unhealthy conditions, when they are underpaid or when they are coerced into forced labor, debt bondage or slavery.